Prioritize the best time and place for roommate fights
February 15, 2021
Almost everyone who has had a roommate can tell a dramatic story about a huge argument they had while living together. One roommate stole laundry detergent, the other never properly cleaned their dishes and a third always blasted music until the early hours of the morning.
While some in the dorms have a simple option of asking for a room change to escape, those in apartments find themselves in a far more difficult position after they sign their lease. Even those in dorms have limited options with COVID-19 precautions in place.
For those with confrontational personalities, it can be easy to address these issues up front, letting the other person know what the problem is. Those who are more passive may find less obvious ways to address the issue, but they can still come up with a way to communicate what they are struggling with.
The trick is knowing when something is worth causing a fight. In some cases, bringing up a roommate’s frustrating behavior can lead to tension in the relationship that continues building as each roommate fires off their frustrations back and forth. The continuous battling can lead to a stressful living situation for everyone involved that potentially lasts the entire semester.
In some cases, this is unavoidable. If a roommate steals, constantly lies or acts in unsafe ways that could harm those living with them during COVID-19 times, confrontation is necessary. No one should sacrifice their health or safety for the sake of peace in the apartment.
With other issues, though, it is important to ask beforehand what your behaviors are like. Pay attention to how well you keep up with your dishes or how long it takes you to grab your laundry out of the dryer. How often do you take your turn cleaning the bathroom or buying paper towels?
No one can be a perfect roommate. It is also easy to see the faults in others and the ways their habits differ. They might have different methods that are not how you prefer to handle things, but get the job done nonetheless.
Even if it does get to the point of needing to sit down and have a serious conversation about roommate responsibilities, it will be more helpful for you to have a strong sense of your own behaviors and how others might find them annoying as well.
Every roommate situation is different and will need work at one point or another. Make sure before getting into a big fight about something small, you know exactly where you stand and what you hope to accomplish.
Elizabeth is a senior in LAS .